Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed made it clear that the partial privatization of Ethio Telecom will not be cancelled
The Ethiopian government on Friday announced that it is deferring the partial privatisation of the giant state-owned telecommunication service provider in the country.
It was the Ministry of Finance that announced the postponement of privatising the enterprise which economists like Kibour Ghenna consider as one of the national assets of the country.
The government introduced the plan to privatise the enterprise with the claim to improve the efficiency of public enterprises and increase competitiveness by opening up access to capital and quality of service delivery.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government vowed to bring about economic prosperity with what it called a “Homegrown Economic Reform program.”
A request for proposal for partial privatisation of Ethio Telecom was released in September 2021 as the country was facing a renewed military campaign by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in the Afar and Amhara regions of Ethiopia – which was reversed by December 2021 although some parts of the regions mentioned above are still under the control of TPLF forces.
A statement released by the Ministry of Finance indicated that the government already had a discussion with bidders who submitted proposals for the privatisation project.
The Ethiopian government linked its decision to defer the partial privatisation to what it called “recent developments and fast-moving macroeconomic changes both globally and from a country perspective”
The plan seems to be to improve the financial performance of Ethio Telecom, which was weakened by the war with TPLF, and improve the overall macroeconomic situation in the country.
However, it has expressed intent to finalise the privatisation process – which means that it will not be cancelled despite reservations/even oppositions from some economists.
Abiy Ahmed introduced an advisory council for privatisation soon after he became Prime Minister in 2018.
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